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Monday, 16 July 2018

Traveling with Man’s Best Friend: What to Know

Image via Pixabay


When your dog is part of the family, you don’t want to leave him out of the fun when the gang goes on vacation. Of course, traveling with a dog has its issues. From transportation to accommodations, you’re going to have to make special arrangements for your precious pooch. If you want a stress-free (or at least less stressful), dog-friendly vacation, you can do it with these easy tips.
Choose a dog-friendly destination.
There’s no point in bringing Fido on vacation if he can’t have fun. Fortunately, there are plenty of dog-friendly cities across America that are also pretty fun for the humans as well:

Austin: This hipster vacation spot offers dog yoga classes and a pup-specific food trailer.
Portland: This walkable small city boasts 30 off-leash parks and plenty of hiking trails.
San Diego: A dedicated dog beach, plenty of pup-friendly patios, and warm weather year-round
The Finger Lakes: If you love local wine and beer, the various wineries and breweries also love well-behaved pups. It’s a match made in heaven.
Chicago: Let your pup experience yacht life with the 90-minute Mercury Canine Cruise on the Chicago River
If it’s time to drive, safety first.
Your dog may love sticking his head out the window, but unfortunately it’s not in his best interest. The ASPCA warns this is a bad idea as he could be struck by a projectile or get overexcited and jump from the moving vehicle. Instead, secure your dog either in a crate or with a seatbelt harness that keeps him secure. Also be wary of your dog becoming overheated in the car. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water and go ahead and turn up that air conditioning. Finally, never ever leave your dog in a parked vehicle alone.
Know the rules.
Before you take your dog anywhere in a new area, make sure he’s welcome. Not all national and state parks allow dogs. Some allow canine companions, but you have to keep him on a leash. It may also depend on the time of year. Some beaches and campsites, for instance, prohibit dogs during the busy season. And even if it’s not explicitly stated in the rules, always pick up your pet’s waste. It’s simply the right thing to do.
Book a dog-friendly hotel.
The hotel’s description may say “pets allowed,” but that doesn’t necessarily make it dog-friendly. Some hotels offer programs that enthusiastically invite your pup. Look for a dog-friendly hotel that provides canine amenities such as a dog bed, food and water bowls, dog-walking services, and turndown treats. These places tend to be a bit pricier and come with additional cleaning fees, but isn’t he worth it?
Recognize when it’s best to leave him at home. 
While your pup will definitely miss you when you’re away, sometimes it’s still best to leave him home. Traveling can cause crazy amounts of stress for your dog and it can make a vacation much more complicated -- not to mention more expensive. Putting your dog in a great boarding facility can be like a little vacation of his own. With scheduled walks and playtime with other pups, he’ll be having so much fun he won’t be too down about missing you. Don’t worry -- you’ll still get the most excited greeting when you finally come home.

While taking dogs on vacation is becoming more and more common, it still presents difficulties. From travel to lodging, you’ll have to make special accommodations for your four-legged family member. Depending on your dog’s temperament, it may be best to leave him with some trained professionals who will give him all the attention he needs until you get back. It’s really up to your family and what’s best for your particular pooch.

Thank you to our guest blogger Michael Bourke

Friday, 9 March 2018

PAYSON ARIZONA - HOUSTON MESA HORSE CAMP

HOUSTON MESA HORSE CAMP 

This camp is located in Payson Arizona and opens the first of March. When coming through Payson the turn into the camp is right across from Home Depot. The regular camp is on the left side coming in but the Horse camp is on the right side. Beautiful campsites with large pull through for even the largest of rigs. 

Trail head is at site 11. Only 2 hours from the Phoenix area up off Hwy 87. You will see lots of wildlife. Beautiful scenic trail.















Tuesday, 18 July 2017

CAMPING SAFETY FOR BEGINNERS

 

Camping Safety for Beginners
By our first outside writer  Michael Bourke
 
 Camping is a family-friendly activity that not only puts you in close proximity to those you love, but helps you commune with nature as well. As with all things, however, there are safety considerations that must be addressed before you pack your bags. Follow these tips to keep yourself safe while enjoying the great outdoors.

Watch what you eat. According to the Centers for Disease Control, eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water greatly increases your risk of developing germ-related infectious diseases. Keep your food and water safe by using an insulated cooler and keeping cooked and raw food separate. Chill foods properly and ensure that meats are cooked to their proper internal temperature. You can read more about food handling safety in this guide provided by the USDA.

Be cautious against carbon monoxide. An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is an invisible killer. Avoid using fuel-burning equipment, such as grills, stoves, and heaters, inside a camper, tent, or other enclosed shelter. This may allow carbon monoxide levels to skyrocket, putting everyone in danger. If you’re camping in the winter, bring extra bedding and layerable clothing to keep warm.

Alleviate animal animosity. You’re sleeping outside; there are going to be other creatures in the area. Avoid the temptation to get to up close and personal. Wild animals carry diseases that can be dangerous to humans, especially young children. As well, guard your pets as domesticated animals are an easy target for wolves, bears, and other wildlife. Make sure your pets have plenty of food, water, and safe shelter, and remove ticks promptly to reduce the possibility of disease transmission. If you are traveling with horses, try to book a campsite that offers access to water and a safe place to tie off your equine companion for the evening.

Hike happy. No camping trip is complete without some fun and exploitative outdoor activities, such as hiking. The Georgia State Parks website recommends employing the buddy system and staying together with your group. Always tell people where you’re going and stay on marked trails. Keep an eye out for wet rocks as major head injuries can occur from even minor falls. Carry an emergency kit that includes water; medical supplies; a flashlight and batteries; high-protein, shelf-stable foods, such as nuts; and a trash bag or brightly colored rain poncho. If you’re planning to tackle a trek with children, tie a whistle to their clothing and teach them to stay put should they get out of your site.

Humans and wildfires

Although fires can be caused by nature, around 90% of wildland fires in the U.S. are directly related to human activities; in fact, the Fire and Aviation Management division of the National Park Service lists unattended campfires as one of the top causes of wildfires. In 2016, an abandoned campfire decimated a 67 square-mile area of Monterrey County, California. It destroyed more than four dozen homes and killed at least one person. And it isn’t just forest fires that cause damage. Desert blazes are becoming more common due to the invasion of alien grasses, which threaten the existence of natural desert ecosystems on top of acting as fuel for flames.

Before planning your campfire, check for rules and regulations. Don’t build your campfire in an area of extreme drought and keep your fire pit at least 15 feet from tent walls, more if it’s windy or dry. Never allow children under the age of 16 to start or monitor a campfire and only use approved materials in your fire. Keep an eye on your fire until the wood is burned completely to ash and douse it with water until any hissing sounds cease. A good rule of thumb is that if the embers are too hot to touch, the fire is too hot to leave.

Whether you’re a tenured camper or a newbie, it’s always best to play it extra safe while you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Keep these tips in mind to have a safe and memorable adventure!

Author: Michael Bourke